|Essential Nutrients : Minerals | Vitamins | Carbohydrates | Proteins | Fats | Diets | Lab Test | Food|
|• Types of Carbohydrates||• Why do we need Carbohydrates?|
Sugar or Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are also known as sugars. They also exist in either a natural or refined form. Natural sugars are found in fruit and vegetables. Carbohydrates that contain only one sugar unit (Monosaccharides) or two sugar units (disaccharides) are referred to as simple sugars. Two of the most common Monosaccharides are glucose and fructose. Glucose is the primary form of sugar stored in the human body for energy and Fructose is the main sugar found in most fruits. Disaccharides have two sugar units bonded together. For example, common table sugar is sucrose. Refined sugars are found in: Biscuits, Cakes and Pastries, Chocolate, Honey and Jams, Jellies, Brown and White cane sugar, Pizzas prepared foods and Sauces, Soft drinks, Sweets and Snack bars. Simple carbohydrates (sugar) cause tooth decay.
Starch or Complex Carbohydrates
Starches are complex carbohydrates without taste or odor, which are granular or powdery in physical form. Complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple sugar units bonded together and for this reason the complex carbohydrates are often referred to as polysaccharides. Starch is the principal polysaccharide used by plants to store glucose for later use as energy. They are found naturally in foods and also refined in processed foods. Complex carbohydrates as natural starches are found in: bananas, barley, beans, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, oats, parsnips, potatoes, root vegetables, sweet corn, whole grain cereals, and whole meal breads, whole meal cereals, whole meal flour, whole meal pasta, yams. Complex carbohydrates as refined starches are found in: biscuits, pastries and cakes, pizzas, sugary processed breakfast cereals, white bread, white flour, white pasta, white rice.
Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk and other dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.
Beans and legumes: black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas (garbanzos), white beans, and lentils.
Fruits and vegetables including apples, corn, beans and those with edible seeds for example, berries
Nuts including Peanuts, walnuts and almonds are a good source of fiber and healthy fat, but watch portion sizes, because they also contain a lot of calories in a small amount.
Whole grains include whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereals, and whole grain breads
Carbohydrate is a rich source of vitamins, which the body needs for a host of circulatory, immune, endocrine and other bodily functions as well as healthy cell growth and repair.
Carbohydrate is also the primary energy source of brain, nervous tissue, retina, kidney, and red blood cells.
Carbohydrates are also rich in protective phytochemicals, the newly discovered semi-essential micronutrients that protect against serious disease.
Carbohydrates are particularly a good source of B-complex vitamins which are very valuable for women.
Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles for exercise
Carbohydrates provide lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber
Carbohydrates supply the main source of energy for the body
Carbohydrates which yield glucose are nutritionally important because glucose is the preferred fuel source of tissues.
Good health is essential for efficient weight loss. A sluggish body, lacking adequate nutrition, does not lose weight as fast as a healthy body.
Each gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories. You need anywhere from 40-60% of your calories from carbohydrate. There is no specific Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate. Glucose is more efficiently oxidized than fatty acids of equal carbon chain length and can be utilized under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Consequently, a minimum of 50% of total energy consumed should be digestible carbohydrate. The energy value of one gram of carbohydrate is 4 kilocalories. In contrast to digestible carbohydrate, dietary fiber and other indigestible carbohydrates yield only minimal energy from intestinal microbial fermentation. Metabolism of fermentable fiber yields short chain fatty acids which are absorbed by the colon. Butyrate is utilized within the colonocyte while propionate and acetate are absorbed and transported to muscle and liver, respectively. Fermentable fiber provides approximately 2 kcal/g of energy. Indigestible components of fiber benefit the intestinal tract by facilitating transport of nutrients and waste which lowers intralumenal pressure and promotes regularity.
Whole grains provide complex carbohydrate and tend to have more nutrients and fiber than refined grains. Eating plenty of whole grains may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Effects of Carbohydrate on cardiovascular disease
There are a variety of ways in which a high carbohydrate diet might be protective of cardiovascular disease risk:
Displacement of nutritionally disadvantageous components of the diet for e.g. saturated animal fat.
Fermentable carbohydrate in the colon produces absorbable short chain fatty acids with potential regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis and insulin handling.
Increasing satiety and decreasing the energy density of the diet, making obesity less likely
Maintenance of insulin sensitivity, especially in the basal state. High carbohydrate diets tend to lower basal (fasting) glucose and insulin over several days. In turn, this decreases risk factors (hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinaemia) for cardiovascular disease.
Providing companion dietary compounds which tend to be protective of the cardiovascular system.
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